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TMS and calf pain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Guest, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest




    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    Hello,

    Fifteen years ago I was lucky enough to see Dr Sarno at The Rusk Institute. I had a complete recovery from debilitating RSI. So I know that this process works.

    My question is about my teenage son. After two years of running on a track team without pain he has developed calf pain. We tried physical therapy, massage, stretching. Once I saw that these did it have an effect I thought of TMS.
    He had initial improvement with applying the techniques during the summer. However once school started and his stress increased his symptoms have gotten worse. The pain sometimes moves from his calves to his shins. He feels the leg pain also when stressed in class and when journal writing about what is bothering him.

    My question is how to respond to his concern about the purpose of the pain. He feels like he needs the pain to keep himself from getting too stressed and worries that his stress at school will be too much for him if he does not have the pain as a distraction.

    Unfortunately we are in a very high pressure suburban public school district.
    Thank you in advance for your reply.
     
  2. Daniel G Lyman LCSW

    Daniel G Lyman LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Interesting question. First of all, if he hasn’t already, please have him go to doctor. We always to make sure that there’s nothing structural going on.

    Secondly, from what you wrote, it seems as though your son does not want to get rid of the pain. If that’s so, then it’s obviously going to be difficult for him to find relief.

    Is the pain bothering you more than it’s bothering him? Sometimes we want things to be perfect for our kids, but letting them work through their own pain (both emotional and physical) can be beneficial. If you’re trying harder to solve the problem than he is, it’s a good sign to step back. Let him find his own motivation. Also, much TMS pain will go away on its own so long as we don’t put energy towards trying to “fix” the pain.

    That said, I want to clarify something for you. Yes, you are correct in that the pain is a distraction, but learning to cope with stress is much more important than coping with the pain, though your brain might tell you otherwise. The fact that your son is scared of the stress over the pain is his fear-brain talking, and that’s where we want to put our energy. He needs to build up his confidence. As his confidence grows, his fear will diminish. Don’t try and manage his stress for him. Let him do it on his own. It will be painful to watch, but that’s how we learn to cope with stress.

    Lastly, understanding the purpose of the pain isn’t 100% necessary to get rid of the pain. The biggest component of overcoming the pain is to live your life as though you weren’t in pain, regardless of the presence of the pain.


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